Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Sapindales
Family: Meliaceae
Genus: Guarea

See text

Guarea is a genus of evergreen trees in the mahogany family Meliaceae, native to tropical Africa and Central and South America. They are large trees 20-45 m tall, with a trunk over 1 m trunk diameter, often buttressed at the base. The leaves are pinnate, with 4-6 pairs of leaflets, the terminal leaflet present. The flowers are produced in loose inflorescences, each flower small, with 4-5 yellowish petals. The fruit is a four or five-valved capsule, containing several seeds, each surrounded by a yellow-orange fleshy aril; the seeds are dispersed by hornbills and monkeys which eat the fleshy aril.

Selected species
  • Guarea glabra
  • Guarea grandifolia
  • Guarea guedesii
  • Guarea guidonia
  • Guarea kunthiana
  • Guarea laurentii
  • Guarea leonensis
  • Guarea macrophylla
  • Guarea pohlii
  • Guarea pubescens
  • Guarea purusana
  • Guarea silvatica
  • Guarea thompsonii
  • Guarea trichilioides


The timber is important; the African species are known as Bossé, Guarea, or Pink Mahogany, and the South American species as Cramantee or American Muskwood. It is said to possibly cause hallucinations if ingested.[1]

The bark of Guarea rusbyi (Britton) Rusby, a synonym of Guarea guidonia (L.) Sleumer[2], is used as an expectorant[3] named cocillana[4].


  1. ^ "05/05/2009 - Scientists get dirt on mystery plant -". Retrieved 2009-05-07. 
  2. ^ United States Department of Agriculture: Germplasm Resources Information Network
  3. ^ Dr. Duke's Phytochemical and Ethnobotanical Databases
  4. ^ C. W. Ballard (1922) Histology of cocillana and substitute barks. Journal of the American Pharmaceutical Association 11(10):781–787

External links